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 1 43 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 560 9112 John Graves-Hurley Haywood-Dave Helmick 681 Laps 1.GTO
 2  3 PORSCHE 935 930 770 0902 Carlo Facetti-Martino Finotto-Romeo Camathias 679 Laps 1.Gr5
 3  8 PORSCHE 935 930 770 0903 Reinhold Joest-Bob Wollek-Altrecht Krebs 670 Laps 2.Gr5
 4 30 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9048 George Dyer-Brad Frisselle 663 Laps 2.GTO
 5 64 FERRARI 365GTB4 14437 Elliot Forbes Robinson-Paul Newman-Milt Minter 631 Laps 3.GTO
 6 48 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Luis Sereix-John Carusso-Emory Donaldson 628 Laps 4.GTO
 7 42 PORSCHE 911S Bob Hindson-Dick Davenport-Frank Carney 624 Laps 1.GTU
 8 28 PORSCHE 911S Raymond Gage-Richard Weiss-Bill Alsup 618 Laps 2.GTU
 9 07 PORSCHE 911T Charles Mendez-David Cowart-Dave Panaccione 591 Laps 3.GTU
10 61 PORSCHE 934 930 670 0175 Jim Busby-Peter Gregg 590 Laps 5.GTO
11 60 PORSCHE 911S Rusty Bond-Ren Tilton-John Thomas 586 Laps 4.GTU
12 27 PORSCHE 911S Ray Mummery-Jack Refenning-Ralph Noseda 581 Laps 5.GTU
13 58 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9054 Diego Febles-Mandy Gonzales-Hiram Cruz 537 Laps 6.GTO
14 73 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Clark Howey-David Crabtree-Dale Koch 515 Laps 7.GTO
15 71 PORSCHE 911S John Higgins-Chip Mead-Dave White 508 Laps 6.GTU
16  6 AMC GREMLIN Amos Johnson-Dennis Shaw-Steve Anderson 506 Laps 8.GTO
17 18 CHEVROLET CAMARO Jack Swanson-Terry Wolters 484 Laps 9.GTO
18 02 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Al Levenson-Dan Rice-Guido Levetto 475 Laps 10.GTO
19 77 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Greenwood 007 Burt Greenwood-James Mancuso-John Cargill-Dave Heinz 470 Laps 11.GTO
20 10 PORSCHE 911S Mark Speer-Windle Turley-Hal Sahlman 464 Laps 7.GTU
21 33 PORSCHE 911S Ara Dube-Haro Zitza-Joe Castellano 441 Laps 8.GTU
22 15 AMC HORNET Tom Waugh-John Rulon Miller-Bob Punch 394 Laps 12.GTO
23 72 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Bill Arnold-Carl Thompson-Billy Hagan 378 Laps 13.GTO
24 34 PORSCHE 911S George Drolsom-Bill Scott-Tom Bagley 377 Laps 9.GTU
25 47 BMW 3.0 CSL John Fitzpatrick-Paul Miller-Kenper Miller 368 Laps 14.GTO
26 13 AMC JAVELIN Bob Fryer-Richard Bostyan-Ed Lowther 366 Laps 15.GTO
27  9 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Klaus Bytzek-Harry Bytzek-Rudy Bartling 343 Laps 16.GTO
28 20 INALTERA FORD 001 Jean Rondeau-Jean Pierre Beltoise 336 Laps 1.Sports
29 05 CHEVROLET MONZA Trueman Jim Trueman-Jerry Thompson-Don Yenko 300 Laps 17.GTO
30 66 FERRARI 365GTB4 15685 Tony Adamowicz-John Cannon-Dick Barbour 286 Laps 18.GTO
31 96 CHEVROLET CAMARO Gene Felton-Buzz Cason-James Reeve 251 Laps 19.GTO
32 70 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Adrian Gang-W.K Gonzales-Tim Duke 247 Laps 20.GTO
33 14 CHEVROLET MONZA Dekon 1014 Al Holbert-Michael Keyser-Claude Ballot Léna 246 Laps 21.GTO
34 38 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9113 John O'steen-John Paul-Bob Hagestad 217 Laps 22.GTO
35 46 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Mauricio de Narvaez-Albert Naon-John Freyre 199 Laps 23.GTO
36 99 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Phil Currin-Rob Hoskins-Peter Knab 196 Laps 24.GTO
37 39 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Wiley Doran-Jim Barnett-Charles Pelz 191 Laps 25.GTO
38 40 FORD MUSTANG André Sepelon-Bob Lee-Larry Parker 180 Laps 26.GTO
39 24 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9056 Tom Frank-Carl Shafer 178 Laps 27.GTO
40  2 BMW 320i E21-R1-12 David Hobbs-Ronnie Peterson-Sam Posey 177 Laps 28.GTO
41 41 CHEVROLET CAMARO Herb Jones-Steve Faul 154 Laps 29.GTO
42 55 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Rick Thompkins-Dave Heinz-Lamar Mann 151 Laps 30.GTO
43 49 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Sam Fillingham-Mike Williamson-K.P Jones 117 Laps 31.GTO
44 84 CHEVROLET CAMARO Russ Boykin-Sam Henderson-C.C Canada 106 Laps 32.GTO
45  7 LANCIA STRATOS Anatoly Aruntunoff-José Marina-Brian Goellnicht 99 Laps 10.GTU
46 78 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Babe Headley-Sammy Feinstein-Skip Panzarella 85 Laps 33.GTO
47 21 INALTERA FORD 002 Lella Lombardi-Christine Beckers 78 Laps 2.Sports
48 63 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Ted Field-Jon Woodner-Howdy Holmes 72 Laps 34.GTO
49 36 AMC GREMLIN Bill Boye-Jere Gillan 60 Laps 35.GTO
50 98 LOTUS EUROPA Ralph Tolman-Michael Brockman-Sam Sommers 50 Laps 11.GTU
51 80 CHEVROLET CAMARO Carmon Salomone-Fred Lang-Buzz Fyhrie 48 Laps 36.GTO
52 51 PORSCHE 914/6 Bob Kirby-John Hotschkis-Dennis Aase 47 Laps 12.GTU
53 00 PORSCHE Turbo 911 460 9102 R3 Danny Ongais-George Follmer-Ted Field 35 Laps 3.Sports
54 01 PORSCHE 911S Bob Bergstrom-Jim Cook 29 Laps 13.GTU
55 17 CHEVROLET NOVA Tim Chitwood-Vince Gimondo 20 Laps 37.GTO
56 03 BMW 2002 Bruno Beilcke-Alf Gebhardt 8 Laps 14.GTU
NC  1 PORSCHE 935 002 Jacky Ickx-Jochen Mass 452 Laps Sports

Cars that did not start

   04 PONTIAC ASTRE Dale Kreider-Bob DeMarco GTO
   65 FERRARI 365GTB4 16407 Bobby Carradine-John Morton-Roy Woods GTO
   79 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Michael Callas-Jerry Jolly-Pierre Laffeach-Peter Papke GTO
    4 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Carlos Moran-Jamsal GTO
    5 PORSCHE 911 Pedro Vasquez-Jorge DeCardenas-Bertin Garcia GTU
   12 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Bill Freeman-Paul Newman-Elliot Forbes Robinson GTO
   15 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Greenwood 006 Jorge Garcia GTO
   19 ALFA ROMEO ALFETTA GT Paul Spruell-Gene Budd-Walter Johnston GTU
   25 CHEVROLET MONZA Stephen Bond-Dale Kreider GTO
   26 ALFA ROMEO ALFETTA GT Ernie Smith-John Foshee-Ren Brennan GTU
   45 HONDA CIVIC David Sauers-James Duke Gr5
   57 FORD PINTO John Poulos-Lee Wiese-Jerry Walsh GTU
   62 FIAT X1/9 Bill Bean-John Kelly GTU
   70 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Don Haines-Bill McVey GTO
   87 PORSCHE 914/6 914 043 1325 Jim Cook GTU
   91 FORD PINTO Steve Jones-Pete Levine GTU

Reliability paid off


The 24 Hours of Daytona was the first event of the 1977 season. It was the first time that Porsche 935s were to enter an IMSA race. The race could boast for a strong 66 car entry list. This entry list was highlighted by the works Porsche 935 driven by Jacky Ickx-Jochen Mass. It was obviously the best car of the field. Two other Porsche 935s were entered for German team Kremer Racing for Bob Wollek-Reinhold Joest-Albrecht Krebs and the Jolly Club car for Carlo Facetti-Martino Finotto-Romeo Camathias. Another Porsche Turbo was entered, it was the former works 1974 car, now owned by Vasek Polak, and driven by Danny Ongais-George Follmer. Peter Gregg was here with his Brumos car, but it was a group 4 car which he shared with Jim Busby. For the remainder of the season, he was supposed to run a more effective car, with the latest IMSA specs. Two Chevrolet Monzas were entered, and they would try to do their best against the European contingent. But reliability has always been one of the domestic cars' main concern. However, Al Holbert was here and had some good hopes for the race. Fitted with a V8 6,0L given for 560hp, it could play second fiddles in such a race. Michael Keyser and French driver Claude Ballot Léna would co-drive this car. A second Monza was entered for Jim Trueman-Jerry Thompson and Don Yenko. A big disappointment was to be brought by John Greenwood who had sold his Corvette to Rick Mancuso, an honest SCCA driver, but it was clear that it would not be a threat to the Porsches. John Greenwood was supposed to build a new Mulsanne car, but it would debut later in the season. BMW had entered a fantastic 320, driven by David Hobbs-Sam Posey and formula 1 star Ronnie Peterson. This car was fitted with a Formula 2 engine and was very slow on the banking. Later in the season, this car would be fitted with a turbocharged engine, and David Hobbs would prove very efficient at his wheel. One BMW 3.0CSL, last year's works car, was driven by John Fitzpatrick-Kenper Miller and Paul Miller and could do well too.

Two Inaltera Fords were entered too, but it was a Le Mans test race, as they were not supposed to earn any point for this race. Jean Pierre Beltoise-Jean Rondeau drove the first car and Lella Lombardi-Christine Beckers drove the second one. They were entered in the GTP class as the Porsche Turbo was. They would prove quite fast with a third and fourth on the grid. A lot of Porsche Carreras were entered, as usual, and some of them were very well driven, and could hope some good results. George Dyer-Brad Frisselle, John Graves-Dave Helmick-Hurley Haywood drove the ex-Peter Gregg car, prepared by Franz Blam, a very good car indeed, Tom Frank-Carl Shafer and Diego Febles-Hiram Cruz were amongst the best. A trio of Ferrari 365GTB4 was to be witnessed and this fact was obviously due to the presence of an all-star team of drivers. Paul Newman-Elliot Forbes Robinson-Milt Minter were on the #64, John Morton-Bobby Carradine-Roy Woods on the #65 and John Cannon-Tony Adamowicz-Dick Barbour on the third one. Counting on their reliability, they could do well in such a race. Some Corvettes were here too, and the best were for Phil Currin-Rob Hoskins-Peter Knab, John Carusso-Emory Donaldson-Luis Sereix and Babe Headley-Sammy Feinstein-Frank Panzarella but many other cars would be here only for fun. The same could be told for the Camaros, which were diversely prepared and driven. The best were for Herb Jones-Steve Faul and Gene Felton-Buzz Cason-James Reeves, this car was completely rebuilt and had a special look, mainly due to a chopped front end. Many Porsche 911s, a single BMW 2002, an AMC Javelin, an AMC Gremlin, a single Ford Mustang, a Lancia Stratos and a Lotus Europa could be seen on the track for the practice sessions.

Three of them were set to allow the cars to qualify for the race.

The first session was crucial for the top cars and set the top ten positions. The Porsche 935 driven by Jochen Mass would set the pole position in 1m48s289, being approached by Bob Wollek by less than one second, which was a real feat by the French driver, as the track was completely dry for Jochen Mass when doing the pole. The two Inalteras were behind, Carlo Facetti was fifth on his Porsche 935, just ahead of the old Porsche Turbo, well driven by Danny Ongais. Peter Gregg did follow on his new Porsche 934, he was trailed by Al Holbert. They were the two IMSA leaders of the race. You could find the BMW 3.0CSL, well driven by John Fitzpatrick and the second Chevrolet Monza driven by Jerry Thompson. The BMW 320 would start on the nineteenth spot on the grid. During these sessions, one of the Ferraris was destroyed by Bobby Carradine, it would not be repaired for the race. The weather had been quite changing, and it seemed that things would go better for the race. As it was, the crowd was bigger than the previous years. Fifty seven cars took the green, plus one Fiat X1.9 trying to delude the officials' watchfulness, but the car would be stopped very soon.

After one pace lap, the cars were left and Jacky Ickx immediately took the lead. Bob Wollek was behind but Danny Ongais seemed to be willing to take a commanding position. Soon, he passed Jean Pierre Beltoise, then Bob Wollek after seven laps. He would then be threatening to the leader and overtook him on lap nine. From that moment, it was one for you, one for me until the first refueling session. The Martini car was faster on the banking, but Danny Ongais really wanted to show his teeth. The Inaltera #1 was the first car to go refueling.The two leaders both pitted on lap twenty nine. That gave the lead to Bob Wollek for a while. Ongais would lose 1m30s with a damaged bodywork, probably due to a shunt with a slower car. Bob Wollek would pit for refueling after one hour and six minutes. After everyone had refueled, Jacky Ickx was the leader and Bob Wollek was now second, Jean Pierre Beltoise was third and Danny Ongais fourth, John Fitzpatrick was fifth, but he had to refuel. Al Holbert was sixth, one lap down, followed by Peter Gregg and Lella Lombardi.

It was to come to an end for the old Porsche Turbo as it broke a piston on lap thirty six. Behind the leader, Jean Pierre Beltoise, who was now in third place, was aiming at a better position. He soon was able to attack Bob Wollek, and passed him to claim the second position. John Fitzpatrick pitted after 1H23mn for refueling and lost one place in the process. He was now fifth. The leading order was now : Jacky Ickx, Jean Pierre Beltoise, Bob Wollek and Al Holbert. The latter would soon be delayed by a tyre puncture, which made him stop twice. He was black-flagged the second time. The second refueling session saw a change of drivers and Jean Rondeau took the wheel from Jean Pierre Beltoise on the second place Inaltera. Slower than Jean Pierre Beltoise, Jean Rondeau would be overtaken by Reinhold Joest, who had taken the wheel of the Kremer Porsche 935. A remarkable fact was that the third Porsche 935, driven by Carlo Facetti, was much slower than the German cars. The second Inaltera, driven by Christine Beckers, would hit a Porsche Carrera driven by Adrian Gang, who had just punctured on the banking. Jon Woodner was passing by and got involved in that mess. Hurley Haywood would avoid this shunt and slipped by. The Inaltera retired and Christine Beckers was led to the hospital, where nothing serious was to be diagnosed and she left very early. Jacky Ickx was an easy leader and was one lap ahead of everybody. Bob Wollek was second. Jochen Mass took the wheel and had a puncture on the banking, he could make it to the pits but he lost six laps for repairs. Bob Wollek was the new leader of the race. Jacky Ickx would run for a while without any side door, then would stop to be accomodated with Danny Ongais' one. Then the Martini Porsche would be struck with more trouble, and after six hours of race, the car would not appear in a better position than twentieth overall, twenty three laps down. Bob Wollek was the clear leader of the race, leading Peter Gregg, the second Porsche 935 driven by Carlo Facetti-Martino Finotto-Romeo Camathias and the Porsche Carrera RSR driven by Dave Helmick-John Graves and Hurley Haywood. This car would have the race of its life.


The Kremer Porsche 935 driven by Bob Wollek, Albrecht Krebs and Reinhold Joest prior to the race.

The best Inaltera driven by Jean Pierre Beltoise-Jean Rondeau was no more a contender and had lost a lot of time in the pits. The exhaust bearings, a coil, bodywork had caused many stops and the car was now fifteenth. The Kremer Porsche was a solid leader but had to stop for a while after nine hours. Brakes pads had to be changed but the team had trouble with them. The car would lose its position for a while, letting the Porsche 934 driven by Peter Gregg-Jim Busby take over the lead, but Bob Wollek would soon recover his leading position. At this point of the race, one thing appear as a clear evidence to the leaders, the works Porsche 935 was very fast and recovering on the leaders. It became clear that it would claim the lead before the end of the race. Before mid race, the Chevrolet Monza was stopped in its pits for an engine swapping after experiencing trouble. In spite of this fact, the car would later in the night retire with a broken transmission. The BMW 320 was quickly running without any clutch, then a big oil leak exiting from the engine caused its retirement. The other BMW, the 3.0CSL retired with a broken oil line, which caused a fire, leading to a retirement. At mid race, the situation seemed quite clear : Bob Wollek-Reinhold Joest-Albrecht Krebs 346laps, 2nd Peter Gregg-Jim Busby 344laps, 3rd John Graves-Dave Helmick-Hurley Haywood, 4th George Dyer-Brad Frisselle 336laps, 5th Jacky Ickx-Jochen Mass 335laps, 6th Carlo Facetti-Martino Finotto-Romeo Camathias 335laps, Elliot Forbes Robinson-Paul Newman-Milt Minter 325laps.

The Brumos Porsche 934 then had to undergo a gear linkage problem and would lose three hours in the process, instead of changing it, the failing one had to be repaired. After fourteen hours, the works Porsche 935 had recovered the second position. The leading car, mainly driven by Bob Wollek was now in trouble with its clutch. However, as everyone expected the Kremer machine to be overtaken, it was the works Porsche 935 that would be hit. Jochen Mass would have a tyre problem which caused the suspension to be torn open after hitting the wall. It was a retirement for the fastest car in the race. The Kremer Porsche 935 was now a clear leader and had no real opponent for the race. The Porsche Carrera RSR driven by John Graves-Dave Helmick and Hurley Haywood was an excellent second overall, this car was leading the second Porsche 935, which was running slowly when not driven by Carlo Facetti! Hurley Haywood would drive twelve hours and did a fantastic job. The other Porsche Carrera, driven by George Dyer and Brad Frisselle was running very well in third place, but had to stop for a new engine. The first Ferrari 365GTB4 was next, driven by Paul Newman-Elliot Forbes Robinson and Milt Minter. This car will be slowed by an overheating engine, but would make it to the finish. As it seemed that the leading car would have a race of its own, the leader was stopped for a brake problem, losing eighteen minutes and the lead. The Ecurie Escargot Porsche Carrera took the lead at 11:57, definitively! The Kremer Porsche could have had its chances, but clutch problems, coupled with gearbox problems did slowed the car for good. In fact, the main challenger for the Porsche Carrera appeared to be the Italian Jolly Club Porsche 935 which took second place from the Kremer car later in the afternoon. The end of the race was a quiet one, but the leading car was still running very strong. John Graves thought that the Porsche 935 was catching him, and he ran faster than ever. Ill-informed by his team, he did his best to remain ahead of the following car. But the gap was about three laps, so he did not have to really worry. The Porsche Carrera RSR driven by Hurley Haywood-John Graves and Dave Helmick earned a much deserved victory, over more powerful cars. The second place Porsche 935 had a quiet race but did not manage to win the race, with 300hp more than the winning car. It was the reliability victory. The Kremer Porsche 935 managed to finish third overall, eleven laps down. Peter Gregg and Jim Busby had worked their way back to tenth, which was an excellent result after their three hour stop. The GTU class was won by a Porsche 911S driven by Bob Hindson-Frank Carney and Dick Davenport, which finished seventh overall. It would be the last victory for a normally aspirated car for long. The Porsche 935s had arrived and would dominate the next years.